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vantage of Knowledge to the Lower Classes, preached for the benefit of a Sunday School ;” and the other an ordination sermon, with the title of “The Discouragements and Supports of the Christian Minister.”
In regard to the composition of the last mentioned discourse, a periodical critic says, “ The diction displays an unlimited command and an exquisite choice of language; a vocabulary formed on the basis of Addison's, but admitting whatever is classical in the richer literature of the present age, and omitting everything that is low or pedantic. The copious use of Scriptural language, so eminently appropriate to theological writings, bestows upon the style of this writer an awful sanctity. The uncouthness and vulgarity of some religious authors, who are driven to employ the very words and phrases of Scripture, from an ignorance of other words and phrases, and an incapacity to conceive and express a revealed truth in any form but that of the authorized version of the Bible, has co-operated with an irreligious spirit, to bring this important resource of theological eloquence into great disrepute. The skilfull manner in which it is employed by Mr. Hall, may restore its credit. Quotations and allusions, when borrowed from profane literature, are much admired. There is nothing, we think, to render them less admirable when borrowed from holy writ. If properly selected, they possess the same merit of appositeness in one case as in the other; they may be at least equal in rhetorical beauty; and the character of holiness and mystery which is peculiar to them, at once fills the imagination and warms the heart."
The settlement of Mr. Hall at Leicester, appears to have wrought an important change in his mind and conduct; at least so we may infer from the following memorandum of his steady friend, Mr. Fuller, in the spring of 1807
“Mr. R. Hall is with us to-day; he made the annual collection for the mission at Leicester, and has consented to go to Nottingham on the same business. He is well, and seems more than ever ardent in his attachment to evangelical religion.” .
On the death of the Princess Charlotte, a sermon was preached by Mr. Hall, suited to the awful circumstances, and at the desire of his congregation, he sent the discourse to the press.
The subject was one well adapted to the great powers of the distinguished author, and he did it ample justice, in elegance and pathos. About this time, he reprinted his tract on the Freedom of the Press, with additions and corrections. This republication, however, involved him in a controversy with an unknown opponent, who attacked him on the ground of his politics, in the Christian Guardian. These animadversions, being industriously copied into the Leicester Journal, compelled Mr. Hall to vindicate his principles and conduct. This defence called forth a reply, and a rejoinder followed, till the dispute grew warm, and the antagonist of Mr. Hall quitted the field in a tone of self-gratulation, at having gained an imaginary conquest.
Not long after this, another occasion called our author into the field of controversy. In 1823, a Socinian teacher, at Leicester, began a course of lectures on the peculiarities of his negative creed, in the course of which he dealt out such invectives against the Orthodox faith, that Mr. Hall was induced, for the sake of his flock, to engage in a series of discourses, on the opposite side of the question. These lectures gave such satisfaction, that he was earnestly requested to publish them ; but for some reason, never explained, he resisted the application.
In the summer of 1825, Dr. John Ryland died; and as the situation which he filled at Bristol could not easily be supplied, the universal voice of the society called upon Mr. Hall to accept the pastoral charge, and the presidency of the academy. Flattering as the invitation was, it occasioned many painful sensations; for he had now been nearly twenty years at Leicester, and seen his ministry blessed in an uncommon degree, among an affectionate people. The distress of the congregation, in the apprehension of losing a teacher so accomplished by talents, and endeared by his virtues, cannot be described. The struggle was hard on all sides; but one consideration prevailed over every tie of affection, and that was the obligation of duty to the entire connexion. Some months, however, elapsed, before an absolute decision took place, and in the month of March, 18:26, Mr. Hall departed from Leicester, and fixed his residence at Bristol, where the congregation, which had been for some time in a declining state, began immediately to revive, and has continued upon the increase ever since.
Here the narrative part of this Memoir terminates; and we have only to observe, that Mr. Hall in conversation is lively and instructive, in manners dignified, and in sentiment generous. Benevolence and humility are the prominent features in his character. In Mr. Hall, real courage for the cause of truth is blended with unaffected simplicity and modesty: of which perhaps we need give no more striking instance, than his declining to append the title of Doctor of Divinity to his name, though bestowed upon him, some years since, by the university where he completed his academic education.
As a preacher, he stands high among his contemporaries, and yet it has been well observed, that there is nothing very remarkable in his manner of delivery. He engages the attention by solemnity of deportment, rather than by assumed earnestness. His voice is feeble, but distinct, and as he proceeds, it trembles beneath his energies, and conveys the idea, that the spring of sublimity and beauty, in his mind, is exhaustless, and would pour forth a more copious stream, if it had a wider channel than can be supplied by the bodily organs. The plainest and least labored of his discourses are not without delicate gleams of imagery, and felicitous turns of expression. He expatiates on the prophecies with a kindred spirit, and affords awful glimpses into the valley of vision. He often seems to conduct his hearers to the top of the “Delectable Mountains," where they can see from afar the glorious gates of the eternal city.
In the recorded judgment of Dr. Parr, who frequently attended the meeting at Leicester, and left a legacy to its pastor, " Mr. Hall has, like Bishop Taylor, the eloquence of an orator, the fancy of a poet, the acuteness of a schoolman, the profoundness of a philosopher, and the piety of a saint.”
THE REFORMATION IN ITALY.
(Concluded from p. 336.)
PERSECUTION, if begun in time, conducted with discretion, and continued long enough, will break the heart of a stouter nation than the Italians; and if the reign of Mary had been as lasting as that of Elizabeth, and as wary, it is not impossible that the fate of the Reformation in England and Italy might have been the same. Popish historians are right enough, when they attribute the salvation of the Roman Catholic religion south of the Alps, in a main degree, to the establishment of the Inquisition at Rome, in 1543. There was, at least, wisdom in this wickedness. It drove out of the country, or buried in its dungeons, or pursued to the death, all who ventured to think for themselves ; and so the unity of the church was restored-Solitudincm faciunt, pacem appellant. For twenty years and more was this accursed engine in the utmost activity, and so well it did its work, that all traces of the Reformation ai length disappeared; down it went, with a shriek, like a drowning man, and the waters close over him, and not a sign is left that he has ever been.
It was not the practice of the Inquisition of Italy to outrage the feelings of the people by a public display of its terrors. The tribunal was not popular in that country ; to say the truth, the Italians are not a sanguinary nation, nor ever have been so in Christian times. It is a matter of just surprise, that with such governments as theirs, blood should be so seldom shed; and that society, constructed as it is, should hold together at all, with so little recourse to capital punishment. In Spain, it was otherwise ; there the hatred of a Protestant succeeded to that of a Moor, and the burning of either was a holiday spectacle.
Drowning was the mode of death to which they doomed the Protestants at Venice, either because it was less cruel and odious than committing them to the flames, or because it accorded with the customs of the place. But if the autos da fè of the queen of the Adriatic were less barbarous than those of Spain, the solitude and silence with which they were accompanied were calculated to excite the deepest horror. At the dead hour of midnight, the prisoner was taken from his cell, and put into a condola, or a Ver
at, attended only, beside the sailors, by a single priest, to act as confessor. He was rowed out into the sea, beyond the two castles, where another boat was in waiting; a plank was then laid across the two gondolas, upon which the prisoner, having his body chained, and a heavy stone allixed to his feet, was placed ; and, on a signal given, the gondolas retiring from one another, he was precipitated into the deep.'
The persecution throughout Italy was, of course, co-extensive with the heresy; but the blackest page in the annals of these hard-hearted times will be found in the history of that colony of Waldenses which, we have already said, had emigrated to Calabria. Here had they been dwelling for some generations, prosperous, and in peace. By the sixteenth century, they had increased to four thousand, and were possessed of two towns on the coast, Santo Xisto and La Guardia. Constant intercourse with their Catholic neighbors, and a long separation from their kindred in the Alps, had corrupted their primitive simplicity, and though they still retained a form of worship of their own, they did not scruple to frequent mass. The report of a new doctrine abroad, resembling that of their forefathers, had reached their ears; they sought to become acquainted with it, and, convinced that they had been wrong in their conformity with the Roman Catholic ritual, they applied to their brethren in the valleys of Pragela, and to the ministers of Geneva, for teachers, who should give them a better knowledge of these things. The circumstance was not long a secret at Rome, and two monks, Valerio Malvicino and Alfonso Urbino (it is a pity to defraud them of their fame,) were sent to reduce them to obedience. They did their work, like genuine sons of St. Dominic. In ancient times, heathen inquisitors required suspected Christians to cast a handful of incense upon an altar, and in default of this, they condemned them to the flames. These inquisitors of the holy office substituted attendance at mass as their test of orthodoxy. The people of Santo Xisto refused to comply, and fled to the woods. Those of La Guardia, deluded into a belief that their brethren had already submitted, reluctantly acquiesced, only to reproach themselves with what they had done, when the truth was known. Two companies of foot soldiers were now sent in quest of the fugitives; but these latter were not to be intimidated by cries of Amazzi, Amazzi!' and, taking their post on a hill, they came to a parley with the captain. They entreated him to have pity on their wives and children: they said that they and their fathers had for ages dwelt in the country, and had given just cause of offence to no man; that they were ready to go by sea or land wherever their superiors might direct; that they would not take with them more than was needful for their support by the way, and would engage never to return; that they would cheerfully abandon their houses and substance, provided they could retain unmolested their principles and faith. To this address, as well as to the hope expressed at the same time, that they might not be driven to a desperate defence, the officer turned a deaf ear. His men were ordered to advance, and most of them fell by the swords of the Vaudois. The monks now wrote to Naples for as:
seni, and all the cruelties which could be exercised by the combined ingenuity of pitiless banditti, (for such were literally the troops now employed,) and yet more pitiless inquisitors, were put in force against this devoted race.
In the language of a Roman Catholic historian, who surely would not exag. gerate,
Some had their throats cut, others were sawn through the middle, and others thrown from the top of a high cliff; all were cruelly, but deservedly, put to death. It was strange to hear of their obstinacy; for while the father saw the son put to death, and the son his father, they not only gave no symptoms of grief, but said, joyfully, that they would be angels of God: so much had the devil, to whom they had given themselves up as a prey, deceived them.'
Dr. M.Crie thus winds up this miserable narrative:
• By the time that the persecutors were glutted with blood, it was not difficult to dispose of the prisoners who remained. The men were sent to the Spanish gallies; the women and children were sold for slaves; and, with the exception of a few, who renounced their faith, the whole colony was exterminated. “ Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth," may the race of the Waldenses say, “ Many' a time have they aflicted me from my youth; my blood, the violence done to me and to my fesh, be upon” Rome!'
The Protestants who survived, were, for the most part, scattered abroad. Those who lived near the borders, sought an asylum in Switzerland and France. and some travelled even as far as Flanders and England. They introduced into the countries which received them, many of the arts peculiar to their own: silk manufactories, mills, and dying-houses, were built under their instructions, and, like the fugitives from the intolerance of the Duke of Alva shortly after, and again from that of Louis XIV., they repaid the hospitality shown them by opening, wherever they came, sources of wealth hitherto unknown. Some. times, they migrated in a body, as did those of Locarno, but with the mark of Cain set upon them by the church, and left to struggle through the snow's and ice of the Rhætian Alps as best they could, it being one of their misfortunes that their · flight was in the winter. These achieved their liberties like inen; but all had not their hardihood. A band of Neapolitans resolved upon the same course ; but when they came to those noble mountains, where they were to take a last view of the land of their fathers, the greater part, struck with its beauties, and calling to mind the friends and comforts which they had left behind, abandoned their enterprise, parted with their companions, returned to Naples,' and lived to find that the loss of self-esteem is a far greater evil than the loss of country, and that infirmity of purpose in a good cause is the last sin which society forgives. Many, again, dwelling in the interior of Italy, where escape in a body was hopeless, stole away singly, and if tempted to return, as they sometimes were, for their families, or the wreck of their fortunes, fell a prey to the vigilance of the Inquisition. Nor were there wanting those, who, dismayed alike at the prospect of banishment or death, looked back from the plough to which they had put an unsteady hand, and made their peace with Rome by timely compliance. Thus ended the Reformation in Italy.
INSTALLATION AT CHARLTON.
Though it has not been our practice to notice Ordinations and Installations, for special reasons we have concluded to publish the following, from the Christian Register, for June 28.
“INSTALLATION AT CHARLTON." "On Wednesday, June 18, Rev. Edward Turner was installed over the first Congregational church and society in Charlton. The occasion was made more solemn and interesting, by the gathering of a church, which was public, and took place in the morning, previous to the Installation services. Twenty two persons offered themselves; twelve of whom received the rite of baptisın from Dr. Bancroft of Worcester. The Pastor elect was one of this number; who, it is well known, has long been a minister among the Universalists, by whom baptism is generally disused. An appropriate Address was made by Dr. Bancroft, and prayers were offered by him, and by Mr. Allen of Northborough. We have seldom, if ever, witnessed a scene more impressive.
“The Council being convened, all the proceedings of the Society were freely submitted to their consideration, and were found regular ; the testimonials, also, in regard to the private and professional character of the pastor elect, and the motives which had induced him to separate himself froin the Universalists, and become a Congregationalist, were entirely satisfactory.
"The Installation services were conducted as follows: the Introductory Prayer by Mr. Noyes of Brookfield; reading the Scriptures by Mr. Alden of Marlborough ; ihe Sermon by Mr. Walker of Charlestown; the Installation Prayer by Mr. Huntoon of Canton ; the Charge by Mr. Thompson of Barre; the Right Hand of Fellowship by Mr. May of Brooklyn, Conn.; and the Concluding Prayer by Mr. Osgood of Sterling."'_“ The house was well filled, and the audience appeared unusually serious and attentive.”
We presumed, when we read the foregoing article, that Mr. Turner had not undergone any great moral transformation, or made any considerable sacrifice of former opinions, in his change from Universalism to be a Unitarian. By the following account, our presumption, it appears, is more than confirmed :
" We understand,” say the Editors of the Trumpet and Universalist Magazine,' “ that he (Mr. Turner) has experienced no change in his religious riers, as he has informed the Editor of the Christian Repository; and that he takes charge of the church and society in Charlton, without any sacrifice or renunciation of the principles, for which, during thirty years, he has contended.” Vol. I. No. 2. New Series
On some occasions, Unitarians have manifested strong resentment, at being denominated Universalists. They have rejected the appellation, as a reproach and a slander. But actions will always speak louder than words; and what, we ask, is the language of the transaction above recorded? An Ecclesiastical Council, composed of leading and distinguished Unitarians, baptize a man in the name of the Trinity-admit him to the church-induct him into the ministry-declare themselves perfectly satisfied with the testimonials relating to his professional character-give him the right hand of fellowship—and thus proclaim distinctly to the world, that he is a good minister, who will teach the way of God truly; when it is known and admitted, that he has long been a teacher of Universal Salvation; and when he declares, that “ he has experienced no change in his religious views," made no “ sacrifice or renunciation" of former principles, but is now as much a Universalist as ever!! The members of this Council, after what has passed, may say what they please ; and some of their brethren, high in office, may say what they please ; the religious community will regard them, and treat them, as Universalists; and they will have no reason to complain.